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Science at Red Oak

Intent

At Red Oak Primary School, we understand how important Science is in everyday life and we are committed to increasing our children’s Science capital. The Scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world. We want our children to develop their scientific skills as they progress through the school. We encourage and nurture their natural curiosity through the use of questioning and exploration.

 Our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding.
  • Use different types of science enquiry that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them in different ways and deepen their knowledge.
  • Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
  • Use a range of cross curricular methods to communicate their scientific findings
  • To use resources carefully with a clear aim of their purpose.
  • Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
  • Question what is around them and have opportunities to answer their own questions.
  • Raise scientific aspirations to highlight different scientific careers.

At Red Oak Primary School children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. In Early years, Science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through continuous provision and play. Additional opportunities to improve Science capital and aspiration are gained through Science days, science hub days, Science trips and parent’s share session

Implementation
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

  • Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher with a clear idea of the scientific skill being taught. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and this will also ensure that there is clear progression from one year group to the other.
  • Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities and time to ask questions that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to carry out their own experiments and are given the opportunities to repeat an experiment based upon previous findings. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
  • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.

Impact

At Red Oak Primary School we have developed a group of future scientists that can see the value of a career in science. We have achieved this through fun, well-resourced engaging lessons as well as developing links with scientists from the local community visiting our school at various science events. We have worked to raise the children’s science capital so they can see how science affects all that is around them. We have encouraged families to undertake small homework projects and come in for science sessions to share a love of science together. We are focused in listening to the children’s and teachers opinions of science in our school and are always working with the children to find ways to improve this within our school.

 

A yearly overview of the science taught at Red Oak can be viewed below, for a larger version, please click on the PDF:

Key Stage 1:

The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.

Lower Key Stage 2:

The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.

Upper Key Stage 2:

The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. At upper key stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

Working Scientifically:

‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group and is taught and developed through practical elements in lessons. Scientific enquiry includes: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

Scientific Language:

The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are developed through modelling from class teachers. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information.

EYFS:

We teach science in Reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs), which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. Science makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.

 

PSQM Award 2018

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